LOOSE ENDS vrurried or stared. Sometimes when it was late, and the pilgrims aad departed, I used to crawl into the cave and sit with him alone, hunched up under the low, incense-stained roof* He was one of the most beautiful old men I have ever seen, attenuated and elongated like an El Greco, and we had long conversations iix a r.iixture of languages and signs. It must be granted that he never said anything of particular interest, his remarks being largely confined to statements of facts with which one was already acquainted, such as 'War is terrible* and 'Man is wicked." How- ever, it really did not matter what he said, he was so exquisite to look at, and I only wish that he had been in a museum, in a glass case, properly lit, so that one could ha^e enjoyed him from every angle. in As a whole, Congress is *antF the States ;* it asserts that they nre 'bulwarks of British rule,9 and it has managed to spread the impression that they are actually British inventions* They are, of course, nothing of the sort, and any man who makes such an assertion is only exposing his ignorance of the rudimentary facts of history. 'When, after the decay of Mogul power in the middle of the eighteenth century, the East India Company began to intervene in the political affairs of India, they had to solicit the favour of Indian rulers, like the Xizam and the Marathas, to seek their alliance in order to keep the French power in check. The Com- pany was not at that time a political power, and the same circum- stances which favoured the growth of its power also operated to strengthen and establish on an independent footing the rule of the local chieftains who owed nominal allegiance to the Mogul Emperor at Delhi. Thus, though the majority of the bigger Indian States are not survivals of old Indian monarchies, they are not the creations of British policy.'2 *, * In Chap, n, however, we saw that Gandhi is ont of step with Congress on this matter, though he has expressed so many conflicting opinions that it is impossible to decide what he really thinks. 3 Indian States, by K. M. Panikkar (Oxford University Press)!